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X disconnects - gnashing my teeth



In the previous episode, Our Hero was wondering why it is that, with
current rawhide on x86_64, X clients would, on occasion, be abruptly
disconnected from the server.  This problem seems to afflict panel
applets most often, which is OK - GNOME happily offers to restart them
and life is good.  Sometimes more important applications get unplugged,
though, and, once, the core session manager got blown off, abruptly
shutting down everything.  It's good the children were not in the house
when that happened.

Such events have provided a certain motivation to track down the
problem.  After some digging, I have a suspect: gnash, or the
interaction between gnash and X.org.

I've been known to go to finance.google.com to check the status of a
specific (non-Linux-related) stock that I own.  That page is set up to
automatically reload, and it nicely puts the price in the title, so just
leaving a tab there yields a poor-man's stock ticker.  And, believe me,
somebody with my investing skills tends to be a poor man.

That page is heavy with Google's infatuation with Flash-based
interfaces.  I have the gnash and gnash-plugin packages installed
(currently version 0.8.1-5.fc8); the plugin makes a valiant, though
fruitless effort to display the content on the google page.  In the
process, I have come to notice, it causes the X server to constantly
chew up ~40% of the CPU on my system.  I have also come to notice that,
when this particular page is not present in a browser tab, the problem
with random X disconnects goes away.

So my hypothesis is that gnash is somehow stressing X to the point that
X starts dropping connections.  Any thoughts on a next step in tracking
this down?

Meanwhile, my stocks refuse to go up whether I'm watching their price or
not, so I've concluded that I can do without finance.google.com for now.

Thanks,

jon


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